Upcoming Release: Dave Gleason’s Wasted Days: Just Fall to Pieces July 10th

Dave Gleason tells me he has a new cd coming out July 10th titled : Just Fall to Pieces  I’ll give you a full report as soon as it arrives in the mail – until then refesh your memory with our review of his previous release

 AUDIO SAMPLE “Midnight California,”

An additional 2 complete mp3 downloads (free) can be found here

(Well Worn) Midnight California is Oakland, California based band Dave Gleason’s Wasted Days recently released sophomore album. In addition to frontman Dave Gleason, Wasted Days is rounded out by guitarist Dave Stark, bassist/co-songwriter Mike Therieau, and drummer John Kent. Joining them for Midnight California are David Immergluck (John Hiatt), Michael Montalto (Red Meat), Greg Loiacano (Mother Hips), Bart Davenport, Thom Moore and pedal steel player Joe Goldmark.

Dave Gleason calls their sound ‘California Country.’ After the release of their self-titled debut album, many people immediately compared Dave, the band and their music to the late 60s pioneer country-rockers, most prominently Gram Parsons and the Flying Burrito Brothers. While the similarities are there, there are also differences. Wasted Days’ sound would better be described as the Flying Burrito Brothers if they’d spent more time kicking around the smoky bars of Bakersfield. Dave Gleason is no stranger to country music, his father played in country bands and he listened as his dad rehearsed covers of Buck Owens and Merle Haggard songs in the garage where Dave developed a love for hard edged honky tonk.

On Midnight California, the differences are even more pronounced. “Some New Someone” is a standout classic Bakersfield style honky tonk shuffle of the sort Dwight Yoakam would be at home singing. Another gem, “I’m Still Crying,” mines the same sound, but with an old-timey feel- a little bit Wynn Stewart, a little bit Buck. “The Winner” is a fuzzed out Tele-twangy Bakersfield instrumental. “Pickin’ Up Tracks” straddles the line and mixes country-rock with its pretty mid-tempo melancholy melody and tight harmonies with a honky tonk beat, weeping steel and prominent Tele. The aching “Downside Of Life” also blurs the line and is a swaying barroom weeper.

The strong title track, “Midnight California,” an ode to the state it’s named after, is a hybrid country-rocker/honky tonk two-stepper with an infectious pulsating bassline. “The Hardest Part” is a straight down the middle country-rocker as is the harmony driven “Inspiration.” They come closest to that classic So-Cal country-rock sound on the mid-tempo ballad of longing and loneliness, “The Only One.” A real highlight is the gorgeous swaying steel driven, Latin tinged “Listen To The Wind.” The band gets down and dirty with the snaky “Backside Of Love” that’s reminiscent of Springsteen’s “Pink Cadillac.” Midnight California closes with the pretty “How Am I Supposed To Live (Without You),” a tribute to the late Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees that has the ghost of the Bee Gees hit “To Love Somebody” running through it. While this one’s got a more R&B groove to it, it still has a rootsy feel and somehow fits in well among the countrier fare.

Dave is a strong vocalist with just enough of a twang in his voice, he’s a strong songwriter and Wasted Days is a tight, well oiled outfit. They’ve built a strong reputation as being one of the most exciting live bands on the club circuit. Comparisons to Gram Parsons might be fair to an extent, however Dave Gleason pushes beyond just Parsons and brings a lot more influences to the table that include hardcore honky tonk, southern-rock and even the gritty country sides of rock bands like the Stones, resulting in an edgier sound. Call it California Country, country-rock, alt-country…whatever you call it, Midnight California is packed with infectious melodies, first rate songwriting and top notch vocals, harmonies and musicianship. Given time, Dave Gleason just may turn out to be the ‘Gram Parsons’ for a new generation…maybe even leaving him in the dust.  

Standout Tracks:Midnight California,” “Pullin’ Up The Tracks,” “Listen To The Wind,” “Some New Someone,” “Downside Of Life,” “I’m Out Crying,” “Backside Of Love”

On The Net:  www.dave-gleason.com

AnnMarie Harrington TakeCountryBack April 2004

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